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Expanding Our (Yours and Mine) Youth and College Students Initiatives

Updated: Jul 25, 2019

Jake Riggsbee, Craig and Amy Andrews, Billy and Vicky Booth, Mark Pressley, Maria Olds, the Stricklands, Fran and Steve Hunter, Ed McKeown, Scott Lee, Larry Ward, Diana Howell, Tony Casucci, Dennis and Susan Cotton, Jeff Olds, Terry-Michael Newell, Faithe and Tom Beam, Kerry Patterson, John and Teresa Crawford, and Mary Lou Booth are the beginning of a very incomplete and significant list for me. These are snapshot of the names of people who invested their lives into mine. These are not teachers or coaches. Rather, these are youth and college leaders from Salem Baptist Church and Campbell University. This incomplete list is a glimpse into those who helped form who I am today, as a follower of Jesus, husband, father, friend, and pastor.

Who are the people on your list?

Who are the people on the list of current UBC youth and college students?

It is a bold question to ask, but it is a necessary one.

In a study conducted by Barna a few years back, researchers found that 59% of adults stayed in church as a result of meaningful relationships during their time as middle and high school students. Stop and think about that. Meaningful and caring relationships with youth within a faith community is a crucial indicator of whether or not that youth will continue in a faith community beyond High School.

A recent Harvard study reveals that children who had a religious upbringing are likely to be healthier and have a higher degree of well-being in early adulthood than those who did not (study link).

As I reflect on what kept me in church, I can honestly say it was the care, mentoring, memories, laughter, challenge, authenticity, real, and meaningful relationships I had among my fellow students and youth leaders.

A Wonderful Feat of Faith

We are attempting a wonderful feat of faith. University Baptist Church is stepping forward to develop a dynamic an